views updated May 21 2018

Glareolidae (pratincoles, coursers; class Aves, order Charadriiformes) A family of mainly brown and grey birds that have white under-parts and distinctive facial and wing markings. Pratincoles have four toes, short bills and legs, long, pointed wings, and forked tails. Coursers have three toes, longer bills, short, broad wings and tails, and long legs. Most have their middle toe pectinate. They inhabit bare, stony areas, coursers being terrestrial and pratincoles more aerial, feed on insects, and nest on the ground. There are five genera, with 16 species, found in Europe, Africa, Asia, and Australia.


views updated Jun 11 2018

pratincole bird of the genus Glareola, allied to the plover. XVIII. — modL. pratincola, f. L. prātum meadow + incola inhabitant.